Jan. 28, 2007
HOUSTON - The Michigan State men's tennis team dropped its second-straight match to a ranked opponent, falling to No. 28 Rice, 4-0, on Sunday. After Rice clinched the 4-0 victory with a win at No. 1 singles, three matches were left unfinished.
The Owls opened the day with wins at No. 1 and No. 3 doubles to earn the point, putting Rice up 1-0 at the start of singles.
At No. 1 doubles, Spartan junior Nick Rinks and senior Michael Flowers teamed up against the Owls duo of Tobias Scheila and Ralph Knupfer, dropping the first doubles match, 8-4. The next match to end was at No. 3, where Rice's Filip Zivojinovic and Filip Paroci defeated the sophomore pairing of John Allare and Alex Forger from MSU, 8-4. The No. 2 doubles match was left unfinished.
In singles, Rice captured the first three matches off the court to secure the win, leaving three matches unfinished in the 4-0 defeat. At No. 6, Zivojinovic put the Owls up 2-0, as he blanked Spartan sophomore Scott Rasmussen 6-0, 6-0.
Freshman Jason Norville was the next Spartan to fall at No. 5, where Jason Mok came away with a straight set victory (6-0, 6-2).
In the No. 1 matchup, the 51st-ranked Rinks took Paroci into a third set, but was unable to pull off the victory, as he was bounced (6-1, 1-6, 6-3). The remaining three matches were left unfinished, as Rice came away with the 4-0 win.
"We played two tough teams, and we gave it our best shot," said head coach Gene Orlando. "We were more competitive with Rice than Texas A&M, but it will help us prepare for the Big Ten season seeing some top teams early on.
"We are still trying to figure out our best lineup, and playing these teams showed us that we did have some holes, but it will help us in the long run."
With the loss, Michigan State falls to 4-2 on the season. The Spartans will return home to face Harvard on Friday, Feb. 2. The match is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at the MSU Indoor Tennis Facility.